Former Niles track standout builds club track program
Published 2:04 pm Thursday, June 22, 2023
NILES — A new track and field club is giving area youth the opportunity to hone and showcase their skills during the summer months.
The Team Love track club has been hard at work practicing at Niles High School as the summer track club season begins.
Founded two years ago by former Niles track standout Andre Love, the program has grown to 33 athletes ranging from 5 to 18 years of age from throughout Southwest Michigan who compete in indoor and outdoor meets across the state. The team practices Monday through Thursday with a rest day on Friday before competing in meets on weekends.
Love said he created the program to prepare athletes to compete at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, which take place July 29 to August 5 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The regional qualifier meet takes place Thursday, June 29-July 2 at Ypsilanti High School.
“I just saw a need,” he said. “It’s about trying to get them to a bigger stage and giving them a taste of what they could have summer after summer and (indoor track season) after indoor.”
Love, who is also the founder and senior pastor of I Care Church in Niles, is encouraged to see the program grow year after year. While the goal is to see children improve on the track, what happens off the track is just as important for Love. Through the program, he aims to teach work ethic, life skills, team work, discipline and character development in the community he calls home.
“It’s an honor to be recognized,” he said. “Being an all-state athlete for Niles, just being able to come back twenty-something years later and give back to this community on the very track that I competed on is just amazing. To have both of my sons and my daughter work with me – my oldest daughter is coaching with me – It’s just an honor to be able to offer this program to these young people.”
For more information about Team Love Track and how to get involved, contact Love at email@example.com.